Decision Maker

Kurt Schrader

  • OR05
  • Representative

Congressman Schrader represents Oregon’s 5th Congressional district. A farmer, veterinarian, and small business owner for more than thirty years, Rep. Schrader sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, John R. Curtis, Kurt Schrader, Ralph Norman

Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

My oldest daughter came to visit on Christmas day with the expectation that she would be receiving a furlough notice after the holidays. I am a retired transportation executive and a former Marine in my early 70's. Katie has worked for the federal government for almost 27 years. We disagree on most domestic political issues, and we vote for different parties. But we found common ground when we started talking about the current partial government shutdown. Our country is in a difficult place. We are divided on so many issues, even within our families. But we can all agree that when the government shuts down, the wrong people pay for it. It’s time for Members of Congress and their highest-paid staff members to be docked salary when they don’t decide on annual budgets before the start of a new fiscal year. Continuing resolutions and government shutdowns waste taxpayer dollars year after year. Congress should be making tough decisions about how much the government should spend and for what. When they refuse to make decisions about the annual budgets of federal agencies, they create waste and chaos - without facing any consequences. Members of Congress and their senior staff are receiving their salaries during the shutdown even though they created it. Federal workers did their jobs, but they are not. When we were together over the holidays, Katie shared some frustration about working under Continuing Resolutions year after year, regardless of which party has a majority in Congress. In the 26+ years that she has worked for the government, it has been shut down six times. Every time it looks like federal employees might be furloughed because of lapses in federal appropriations, agencies have to prepare furlough notices for thousands of employees and develop shutdown plans. This wastes millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours. While the things we want Congress to fund and tax are different, my daughter and I agree that Congress's failure to make decisions is seriously bad for the health of our democracy. This is not the first time Katie has been furloughed, but when it happened in 1995 she was single and had no children. Twenty-three years later, she and her husband have three kids, two of whom are still at home. He is also a federal employee. It's scary not knowing when the next paycheck is coming, even when you are pretty sure that the money will come eventually. Wherever you stand on the policies and funding that are being debated during this shutdown, please join us to make sure every Member of Congress, every Senator and every senior member of the Administration knows that We the People expect them to do their job. And if they're not going to do it, then they shouldn't be paid. The House of Representatives should introduce a bill to change Congressional pay regulations so future Members of Congress and their highest-paid staff members will face direct financial consequences when they cause a government shutdown.

Thomas Howard
445,306 supporters
Petitioning Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Health and Human Services, immigration and customs inforcement, Kurt Schrader, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden

Reunite Detained Immigrant Children with their Parents

As of July 20, 2018 close to 3,000 children were separated from their parents by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) while attempting to cross the Mexico-USA border and the US government doesn't have a definite plan to unite them. Parents and children have been told that they will likely never see one another again. Suicide attempts have been noted among children and parents separated from their loved ones. Immigrant children are forced to stay in cages, completely isolated from the outside world.  Many cry themselves to sleep, begging to see their parents. Several hundred cases of sexual abuse by immigration officials have been reported by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). As citizens of the United States of America, we will not tolerate such cruelty on behalf of our government against immigrants, many of who are seeking asylum from violence, war and atrocity in their home country. Limited communication between the Department of Health and Human Services, ICE, and ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) has been to blame for making family reunification practically impossible. We demand that the US government get it's act together, take every step necessary to immediately unite parent and child, and avoid further suffering. For More Information Please Click the Link Below:

Gary Wagman
22,278 supporters
Petitioning Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Ben Cardin, Robert Casey, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamal...

"CAP" Private & FED Student Loan Interest

Dear Senator, In 2018 student loan debt had eclipsed 1.5 trillion dollars. With roughly about 44 million borrowers, that sets the average student loan debt at about 38K per student. Society’s taught us all at a young age, that education was the key to success. We were told “get a good education and this will assure you get a well paying job after graduating from college.” This message is embedded in our minds early in life. Unfortunately, for many this could not be further from the truth. I know this letter may come across your desk and potentially be overlooked, because I am not a constituent in your state. But within your state are many just like me (thousands maybe even millions). Many do not know what to do, so I would like to be their voice and beacon of hope. I am a private student loan borrower (Sallie Mae/Navient). I (like many) could not afford to pay for college out of my own pocket. Thankfully, I was able to fund my 4 years of college with both Federal & Private loans (mostly private). While I am grateful for the college experience and degree I earned, it’s been overshadowed by the enormous never-ending growing balance post graduation. I originally borrowed 55,532.88 for my college education from Sallie Mae/Navient. I graduated in 2005. Year-to-date I’ve made payments totaling 59,509.13. My remaining balance is still 64,143.21. Seeing these figures side-by-side on my excel spreadsheets literally sickens my stomach. However, I am proactively working on a plan to pay it back. The statistic shared earlier shows that student loan debt is a problem in this country we call the “land of opportunity.” For myself and many others, we feel the mounting pressures of the growing balance even after repayment has started. Defaults rates are well above normal and will continue to sore. This is why I’m putting this petition together to call for reform to specifically “private student loans.” Upon graduation, the original principal in some cases have doubled, tripled even quadrupled because of the “daily compounding interest.” I am calling for Government Representatives to step-in and set a “CAP limit” on the amount of interest Private loan providers can add onto original loan balances. Balances are growing on a daily basis. The payments most students are making is primarily going toward the interest that is still growing daily. How are borrowers suppose to ever make a dint in the principal balance? It’s virtually impossible. The interest rates are variable and set by the lender. Why do lenders need to collect 2, 3, or 4 times the amount borrowed? Income based repayments (which is primarily for Fed Loans) isn’t a solution; it’s a Band-Aid. This only lowers the monthly payment while the interest is still increasing, eventually increasing your overall balance. We need real reform. Reform that will truly help all student borrowers pay off their private student loans with a “reasonable” amount of interest. It feels as if private lenders purposely want to keep students in debt well into their elderly years. Which morally, simply is not the right thing to do. Education shouldn’t be a penalty. Private lenders are profiting 2, 3, and even 4 fold at an alarming rate from “interest only.” How many executives are receiving bonuses? Why do private lenders need so much interest it they are claiming to help struggling students pay for college? I can not predict the future. I do not know what happens if this student loan bubble bursts like the housing market did some years back. But students are being left with the short end of the stick and mounting balances unless Government appointed officials create and pass real laws that will bring change to this predatory system “Private Loan Providers” have taken advantage of for so many years. #CAPstudentloaninterest

N. Reed
16,963 supporters
Petitioning Peter Welch, Raul Ruiz, Debbie Dingell, Robin L. Kelly, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Bobby L. Rush, Eliot L. Engel, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Doris O. Matsui, Kathy Castor, Ben Ray Luj...


UPDATE:  JAN 08, 2019, Senator Lee has re-introduced this bill to congress and it has been renamed from HR. 326 to HR 321. The title remains the same as well as it's contents.  She is fighting hard for us! On January 5th 2017, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif) introduced to the House of Congress Bill H.R. 326 The Neuromyelitis Consortium Act, on behalf of patients with Neuromyelitis Optica. (also known as Devic's Disease) Congresswoman Lee has introduced this bill since 2013.  Again in 2015 and 2017. And again on Jan 8th 2019,  Each time the bill has been introduced to the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, who have then sent it to the Sub Committee on Health.  Each of those years including 2017, it has stalled and never advanced from the House to the Senate.  We need your support and that of your respective state’s lawmakers to help sponsor this bill.  THIS BILL IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AS SHE IS NOT GIVING UP AND LETTING IT FALL ON A PILE OF UNPASSED BILLS. SHE HAS RE-INTRODUCED IT AS HR 321. (see the updated bill submitted) Please support this Bill and urge your State’s Representatives to do the same. We need 100,000 signatures to be heard by Congress!!! Currently, there is no known cause for NMO, nor cure.  We need to know why and how to cure this rare orphan autoimmune disease of the Central Nervous System, that can blind, paralyze or do both. 9 out of 10 are women with a median age of 40.  Toddlers up to nonagenarians are not immune from this disease.  NMO affects all races and socio economic classes.   We need improved response and treatment protocols across the U.S. in every state, in every hospital.  Only 1% of doctors will have ever treated a diagnosed case of NMO in their lifetime, meaning the other 99% have only text book experience in treating an NMO patient. Those with no diagnosis can sometimes receive the wrong diagnosis of MS, ADEM, Transverse Myelitis, Meningitis, etc.  And with a wrong diagnosis comes the wrong treatments that can make you worse! H.R. 321 would amend the Public Health Service act to create a National Neuromyelitis Optica Consortium . It would provide grants and organize research with reference to the causes of and risk factors for Neuromyelitis Optica.   Part B of title IV of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 284 et seq.) would be amended by adding after section 409J the following new section:  409K. NATIONAL NEUROMYELITIS OPTICA CONSORTIUM.   It would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to  establish, administer and oversee this consortium to: award grants for research on the causes of, and the risk factors and biomarkers associated with, NMO; assemble a panel of experts to provide guidance and recommendations on research design and protocols; and designate a central laboratory to collect and analyze data from this research and to make the data and analysis available to researchers. (excerpt bulletpoints from – summary tab) To view H.R. 321: the pdf for this bill is also attached to this link so you can read it in it's entirety. 7 pages. Neuromyelitis  Optica (NMO) is an uncommon disease syndrome of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. Individuals with NMO develop optic neuritis, which causes pain in the eye and vision loss, and transverse myelitis, which causes weakness, numbness, and sometimes paralysis of the arms and legs, along with sensory disturbances and loss of bladder and bowel control. NMO leads to loss of myelin, which is a fatty substance that surrounds nerve fibers and helps nerve signals move from cell to cell. The syndrome can also damage nerve fibers and leave areas of broken-down tissue. In the disease process of NMO, for reasons that aren’t yet clear, immune system cells and antibodies attack and destroy myelin cells in the optic nerves and the spinal cord. (Definition courtesy of the Guthy Jackson NMO Foundation) This petition is dedicated to my daughter Ria Fincham (pictured above) who is one of the 15,000 patients bravely battling this disease since July 1, 2012 and to all the NMO patients and their families who need your help moving forward towards a cure. This petition is directed to: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (chairwoman); Congressman G.K. Butterfield (vice chairman), et al   Please Sign and Share!!! (All correspondence regarding this petition can be sent to the sole creator of this petition:  Cindy Fincham via email to: Thank You.

Cindy Fincham
11,229 supporters
Petitioning Terri A. Sewell, Lisa Murkowski, Raul M. Grijalva, Kyrsten Sinema, Ruben Gallego, Dianne Feinstein, Doris O. Matsui, Michael F. Bennet, Diana DeGette, Richard Blumenthal, Rosa L. DeLauro, Thomas R....

Ban LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy in America is a problem that has been ignored for far too long and if left to fester, will continue to harm millions of LGBTQ+ children nationwide.  What is Conversion Therapy? While conversion therapy varies in practice, ranging from physical adverse conditioning to blatant shaming, the lack of scientific proof backing up the usefulness of these practices as well as the long-lasting negative effects are still the same.  Conversion therapy is usually forced onto LGBTQ+ minors by their legal guardians. Studies have shown that children being mistreated for identifying as LGBTQ+ are: 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide 6 times more likely to have reported high levels of depression 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs and 3 times as likely to be at a high risk for HIV and STDS compared to most other children or teenagers their age. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also calls for the elimination of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, having once stated “Specifically, conversion therapy—efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression —is a practice that is not supported by credible evidence and has been disavowed by behavioral health experts and associations. Conversion therapy perpetuates outdated views of gender roles and identities as well as the negative stereotype that being a sexual or gender minority or identifying as LGBTQ is an abnormal aspect of human development. Most importantly, it may put young people at risk of serious harm.” What We Want While in states such as California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, the practice of conversion therapy upon children is outlawed, we call for a nationwide ban in America to protect LGBTQ+ youth from the harms conversion therapy inflicts.

Zoe Leonard
7,047 supporters
Petitioning Donald Payne, Ed Perlmutter, Michael Gallagher, Norma Torres, Michael Burgess, Mark Sanford, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Cory Booker, Ron DeSantis, Greg Walden, Joe Barton, Fred Upton, John Shimkus, Tim M...


Ever received a medical bill that was so confusing, you just paid it to escape the headache or avoid ruining your credit? Ever had a test or procedure done only to realize later it was thousands of dollars and insurance won't pay? Ever received charges from physicians you never even met? Unfortunately, these scenarios are all too common in our U.S. healthcare system.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 25% of U.S. adults struggle to pay their medical bills-this includes those who have insurance. Medical debt is the number one source of personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. An estimated 40% of Americans have debt resulting from a medical issue. ( The New York Times reported that 20% of Americans under 65 (with health insurance) had difficulty paying their medical bills over the past year. Of those, 63% claim to have used up all or most of their savings to pay medical bills, while 42% took on an extra job to cover their costs. Medical bills are almost always confusing and often full of errors. Sadly, most people will pay for hospital and provider charges they don't understand just to avoid being sent to collections. For those who can't pay, it can often mean financial and personal ruin.  Prices of medical exams, tests, procedures and surgeries are typically undisclosed. Patients have no idea what the cost of their medical care will be until they receive the astronomical bills. To make matters worse, hospitals and providers often bill self-pay patients significantly more than they bill insurance companies and Medicare. It doesn't make sense. It's time for us, the American people, to take a stand. Let's demand transparency in healthcare pricing and medical bills.  It's time to make healthcare a right, not a nightmare. Please sign this petition in support of Representative Ed Perlmutter's Bill H.R. 4808: Transparent Health Care Pricing Act of 2018 #bethechange    

Crystal Polson
4,432 supporters
Petitioning Kate Brown, Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Suzanne Bonamici, Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer, Pete DeFazio, Kurt Schrader

Help us remove the statute of limitations of rape and sexual felonies for victims in Oregon

With the world sitting and watching in horror as one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the history of the US Olympics unfold, it has also opened a whole new door on this "silenced subject" and is demanding a spot light on sexual abuse, victims, survivors and it's abusers. A movement is beginning! With that being said, I am starting a petition addressing "Oregon's statute of limitation" that has stopped us in our tracks from being able to face and prosecute our abusers. Each state's statute of limitation is different. We plan to change that and lift the statute of limitation so that those who suffered sexual abuse, can finally be heard. We will need as many signatures as possible to present this to our Governor and representatives. Please stand with me, and have your voice be heard. Once and for all.Thank you all in advance ♡#Metoo As a victim and survivor of sexual abuse as a child for over 10 years, Oregon statute of limitation laws prevent us from facing and convicting our abusers. Most victims and survivors of abuse cannot even fathom coming forward and talking about the abuse that they endured until later in life. Whether it's after years of extensive counseling, relationships, becoming husbands and/or wives, having children of our own or just finally building up the courage to talk about it. In most cases, these choices do not happen until later in life. For me, it did not happen until I reached my mid-30s.  When only then, I found that Oregon statute of limitations completely stopped me in my tracks from finally building up the courage to face and prosecute my abusers. To hear the words "Too much time has gone by and nothing can be done" was almost as bad as being abused all over again, for me, and so many others. These abusers cannot continue to walk free in society any longer just because we weren't ready to face them. Please give us the chance to do so now, as we deserve.   

Lylajean Walters
4,065 supporters